Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 10:00
It's the end of an era, as the long-running oldies music show on WJJG-AM, "Mike Baker & the Forgotten 45s," will air its final episode this Saturday afternoon. The station has chosen to cancel the show to focus on other musical programming on weekends.
"Mike Baker & the Forgotten 45s," featuring Baker spinning popular & little-heard rock & pop tunes from the 1950s through the 1970s, has been on WJJG-AM for 17 years -- since May 1995. Each weekend, since soon after Joe Gentile purchased the suburban radio station, Mike Baker would play songs from the golden age of Top 40 radio, including spotlighting many Chicago acts from that era.
He would also host an annual multi-hour marathon of yuletide music live each Christmas on WJJG-AM, entitled "A Hometown Christmas." It would appear that last Christmas' 16th annual "Hometown Christmas" was the last one for AM 1530.
Mike Baker was bitten by the radio bug back in high school, when he started spending his time working at Lyons Township High School's radio station WLTL-FM. From Lyons Township High School, he took broadcasting classes at Columbia College Chicago, where he worked at WCRX-FM, and Liberal Arts courses at Northern Illinois University, where he worked at WNIU-FM. Since leaving school, he has worked at such stations as WTAQ-AM, WCCQ-FM, and WFYR-FM.
In addition to his professional radio work, Mike Baker has returned to his old high school to serve as student supervisor at WLTL-FM. He has done that since 1993. He has also lectured about radio at Columbia College and Prairie State University.
Since 1984, Mike Baker has worked his day job as a systems analyst for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Baker will continue to work with WJJG-AM as the stations Operations Consultant and Webmaster. It is just his weekend music show that exits.